Posts Tagged ‘ale’

Alimony Ale

Posted: October 28, 2011 in American IPA
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Tonight I’m drinking Alimony Ale by Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in Hayward, CA.  The bottle and web site both tout this beer as different and eccentric.  We’ll see about that…

This is an IPA and pours a dark hazy amber with a two finger head and tons of carbonation.  So that’s different from most IPA’s…one point to the beer.  The scent is very citrusy and grassy with the hoppiness that comes standard with an IPA.  Exactly what I’d expect from this beer type…one point for me.  The taste hits you with a ton of hops up front with some caramel and malt sneaking in around the edges.  One point to the beer for the caramel and one for me for the hopsplosion.  As it warms, it’s starting to taste like an American Amber up front with the hops only coming through on the finish. That’s a bit odd…one point to the beer.  I find it more enjoyable than other IPA’s I had simply because as it warms it tastes less like an IPA.

If you’re new to craft beers and are still in the Shiner Bock/Yuengling/Firestone DBA/Fat Tire phase of beer drinking, this might be a good intro into other beer types.  Also if you typically prefer Ambers, Barleywines, or ESBs, this would make a good intro to IPA beer.


I initially picked up a bottle of this at my local chain liquor store, but before trying it I actually went back for another to age for awhile before drinking.  I’m just going to stick it away somewhere and let it gather dust for awhile.  Eventually I’ll run across it again and remember my plan and open it with a friend.

I’ve had other beers from the Fuller’s Brewery before and quite enjoyed them so I have high expectations for this one.  This is a bottle conditioned Old Ale and a limited edition; only 95K are made each year.

I had a friend over for a beer tasting evening last week and this was our opener.  It poured a beautiful hazy red amber with a very yeasty smell.  The taste was kind of like a really good loaf of sourdough with some bitterness.  It had a pretty strong alcohol taste, but felt really creamy.

I really enjoyed this beer and look forward to trying the other in a few years.  I think the alcohol taste might mellow out a bit by then.

Little Sumpin’ Wild is a limited release from Lagunitas, a brewery that I’m sure regular readers will know I tend to favor.  It’s a clear orange/gold beer with a pale off-white head.  The smell pops you in the nose with citrus, pineapples, and spices but the hops come out more in the taste.  It really seems more like an American IPA than a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but not obnoxiously hoppy.  It’s 9.2% abv but doesn’t taste like it and the overall feel is pretty smooth.

I actually took some of this to a coworker’s 21st birthday party last night with the instructions that he is not to drink this after an evening of Bud Lights.  I explained that he’s a big boy now and needs to learn to drink real beer, but if he really needs to drink Bud Light he should start with the Lagunitas and finish with the Bud Light.  He was impressed with the sexy lady on the bottle.  And the 9.2% abv.

This past Friday I flew from Sacramento to LA and was running a bit behind.  After two hours of rush hour traffic and a too long wait for the shuttle from economy parking, I made it to the gate about 15 minutes before boarding.  I looked around and right across from the gate was an airport bar featuring the beers of Pyramid Breweries.  Surely this must be a sign, I thought to myself and went over and ordered an Alehouse Amber.

It was a very hazy brownish orange.  The scant foam was likely a result of an indifferent airport employee who cares very little about a proper pour.  It smelled kind of fresh and spicy with a bit of fruitiness.  The spice continued into the taste with a good amount of malt and very subtle hops. It was a very drinkable brew.  I find it especially nice for pounding rapidly in an airport bar.

Today I’m drinking a Fat Tire Amber Ale from the New Belgium Brewery in Colorado.  It’s a translucent honey-gold with an off-white head that quickly fades but leaves quite a bit of lacing.  The scent’s an earthy malt with some hops thrown in.  The flavor’s on the mild side but has a pleasant caramel and malt tastes.  The hops are refreshingly light. (I live in California where the breweries seem to be in constant competition to get the most hops into their beer.)  The mouthfeel was fairly thin and watery, which is fine for a beer I’m trying to drink all night, but not very interesting.  Ultimately, if I were drinking several beers in a sitting, I’d choose this, but if I’m drinking to have an interesting beer experience, I’ll pass.  It’s not bad, but it’s really nothing special either.

Traquair House Ale

Posted: September 3, 2011 in Scotch Ale
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I had a party last night and brought out some new beers to sample as well as some old favorites.  One of the new ones was Traquair House Ale, a Scotch Ale that poured a dark caramel brown with a slight cream colored head.  It smelled fruity and almost sour…possibly figs.  This beer tasted awesome!  Caramel and chocolate, some vanilla, pretty malty.  Sweet but not too sweet.  A very smooth beer, velvety even.  I loved this beer!  I’d definitely drink this again and suggest you find some and try it.

This Amber Ale pours a great golden brown, slightly hazy with a sizable cream head that dissipates quickly.  There’s really not much to the aroma of this one.  I was kind of expecting more from such a nice looking beer.  It’s kind of sweet and tastes mostly of malt and caramel.  I’m kind of surprised to find a California beer so light on hops.  There’s really nothing too interesting about this beer.  It’s not complex, or weird or anything like that, but it’s a good drink.  If I want to drink a nice local beer that I don’t have to think about, this is a great option.

Dead Guy Ale

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Maibock
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Tonight’s a warm night in the Bay Area, so I’ve decided to open up some Dead Guy Ale by Rogue Ales.  This is a German-style Maibock, which is similar to other bock beers only lighter in color.  It’s a clear gold with a substantial, though short-lived head.  It’s sweet malty scent is exactly what I think a beer should smell like, though that may be my years of Shiner Bock consumption talking.  It’s amazing…I feel like I should be throwing darts or shooting pool when I smell this.  The hops really come out in the tasting of this one.  Not nearly as malty as I was hoping, but not overpowered with the hops.  It’s initially kind of sweet but has a bitter finish.  Kind of middle of the road for carbonation, and pretty well balanced in general.  Overall, I enjoyed this even though it’s a bit hoppy for me.  If you’re a fan of hops but don’t like being kicked in the teeth by them, give this a try.

At the request of my cousin, I’ve rounded up some gluten free beers to review.  The first is this blonde ale.  It pours a clearish golden yellow with a thick head and smells like a yeasty cider or dryish apple wine.  It’s almost hard to comment on the taste because it really doesn’t last long enough to get a good feel for it.  This beer has the most fleeting flavor of any beer I’ve ever tried.  The taste sequence is kind of: appleboozenothingbyebye.  After drinking all these California beers, it’s a bit odd to drink something that’s not overloaded with hops.  The mouthfeel is what I would imagine carbonated vodka to taste like: bubbly, boozy, and thin.  It’s so different from everything I’ve had recently that I really didn’t know if I liked it at first.  I’m not sure I’d drink this again if other beer options were available, but it’s certainly a drinkable beer for those who are on gluten free diets.  Be warned, though, all the carbonation gave me a nasty case of the hiccups midway through.

While in Napa last week, the second beer I was talked into was Grand Teton Brewing Co.’s Bitch Creek ESB.  It’s an American Brown Ale and the first beer I’ve had from an Idaho brewery.  I asked the bartender for a nutty brown ale and she really delivered.  I love that I’m in an area where the bartenders really know their beers (and have good beers to know about).

  It poured a dark hazy brown with a tan head and some decent lacing on the glass.  It smelled strongly nutty with some malt.  The taste was mostly nuts and caramel with a slight fruitiness.  It was a nice, smooth, moderately carbonated drink.  I really enjoyed it, and not just for the clever name.  This is going on my list of go-to beers.